Ghostwriting

(8 Posts)
FirstWeTakeManhattan Sun 14-Jun-15 10:26:16

After many years of writing bits here and there, and having taken hundreds of statements (turned out to be good experience for ghosting!) in my job, I finally took the plunge and registered with Freelancer to get some paid work whilst I write my book.

I've done three small pieces of work, and have just completed two ghostwritten novels. The process was easy enough, the feedback has been really good, and aside from the dire rate of pay and too-tight stressy deadline, it was a good experience.

I'd like to carry on with the ghosting, but would like advice on where to go from here. I might pick up a decent job on Freelancer (I'll be more picky next time) but anything else I should try?

FallingGoldfinch Mon 15-Jun-15 11:46:32

I've been ghosting for a few years now - it's definitely changed in that time, but am happy to answer any questions if you have any.

I only do non-fiction and never celebs, but apart from that . . . grin.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Mon 15-Jun-15 12:21:36

Thanks Goldfinch.

I've been wondering about getting an agent, or is there another way to attract work such as Freelancer but geared towards ghosting?

Should I get my own website? I've not great desire to, but will if it's a deal breaker.

I do fiction (children's and adults) and I wouldn't object to a celeb, but I'm not aiming for that market. In fact, I'm not aiming for any market, just happy to write, basically grin

In short, I'm after good work, to help pay the bills/save for a holiday, and any help to point me in the right direction would be great.

Thanks for your help!

FallingGoldfinch Mon 15-Jun-15 12:33:11

I've always had an agent, largely because I would be useless at discussing money with publishers. If you're going to just do private commissions, I don't think it matters as agents often just leave you to that on your own anyway, but if you want to start on commercial/mainstream stuff, then I would certainly say they are worth their fee (many times over).

I would also say a website is essential - if you can put on there what work you have done, and answer the main questions, you can weed out a lot of time wasters. I can't remember the last time I updated mine, but it still deals with the nuts and bolts for anyone who looks at it.

The main things I have found are that people want to talk about their books, or their book ideas, till the cows come home, and will take all the time you are willing to give them for free - so, discuss fees as soon as you can. They often have a very skewed idea of how much it costs - work out how much you need to earn, how long it takes you to do the work, and double the fee you suggest. They will always try to barter you down, and you have to allow for the fact that they may not pay the final portion.

I'm not sure whether you do fee + royalties, but, for private commissions, I'd do fee-only; if they're that sure it will make a fortune, they shouldn't mind paying you what you deserve for your share of the work.

Also, join the Society of Authors - for an annual fee, you get free advice on contracts and lots of support. www.societyofauthors.org/

Good luck!

FirstWeTakeManhattan Mon 15-Jun-15 12:42:48

Brilliant Goldfinch, I really appreciate it. I'll start looking for an agent, at least I have some completed work to show them now, and I'm also rubbish at money discussions which is why I just wrote a book for peanuts, essentially! I'll also look at setting up a website.

I'll join the Society of Authors as well.

Thanks for all your advice - just what I needed.

FallingGoldfinch Mon 15-Jun-15 12:48:02

Another thing! If you get a copy of 'Ghost Writing' by Andrew Crofts, there is a contract template you can use for clients - little bits can be adjusted for specific projects. Excellent book too.

Some ghosts will have their rates on their websites, which should give you an idea of what to ask for - or PM if you want to be all British about it wink.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Mon 15-Jun-15 12:51:11

Excellent stuff, thank you again. I'm just compiling an Amazon order so will see if I can get that book. I might also take you up on the PM thing later, if that's okay?

I'll go and turn it all over in my mind whilst I vacuum the bedrooms!

FallingGoldfinch Mon 15-Jun-15 19:23:31

No problem - is the vacuuming a distraction from work? If so, you are officially A Proper Writer!

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